Acceptable forms of Identification

All visitors to prisons, other than accompanied children under the age of 18, whether visiting for social, professional or official purposes, must be required to prove their identity at the visits centre.


Acceptable forms of identification- Member of the general public


Visitors may identify themselves using one of the following:

  • Passport, including foreign passport, and time expired passports where the photograph is still recognisable.
  • C identity card
  • Driving license
  • Benefits book
  • Senior Citizens public transport photo issued by local authority
  • Employers or student card ID card but only if this clearly shows the name of the visitor and the employer or educational establishment, and has a photo which can be compared with the visitor’s appearance.


If a visitor is unable to produce one of the above, staff may accept combinations of two or more of the following;

  • Birth / marriage certificate
  • Rail / bus pass (with photo)
  • Rent book
  • Chequebook
  • Credit / debit card
  • Employers / student ID card (no photo)
  • Young person’s proof of age card
  • Library card (with signature)
  • Foreign ID / residents card


Acceptable forms of identification- Professional visitors


The following documents are examples of form of acceptable identification for professional visitors:

  • Members of either house of parliament: Houses of parliament ID card
  • Legal advisers: identity card issued by the firm/ chambers, or introductory letter on headed paper of the firm/ chambers
  • Police, UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs officers: warrant card
  • Probation officers: Probations department ID card.
  • Staff from other prisons, HQ or home office staff: Ministry of Justice, Prison service, or Home office photo security pass.
  • Consular officials: Consular ID card.
  • Other public officials: departmental or local authority pass or ID card (but only if it shows the name of the visitor and the name of the department or local authority).
  • Social workers: Social worker identification card.
  • Researchers: security photo pass or official letter.
  • NSH photographic identification badge/ card. Independent sector healthcare photographic identification badge/ card.


Once identified, all visitors will sign a declaration to indicate that they will not bring any unauthorised articles into the prison as detailed in the Criminal Justice Act 1967 / the Offender Management Act 2007.